Cold Creek Campground

Tahoe National Forest


Jackson Meadows Reservoir


Cold Creek Campground, Highway 89,  Tahoe National Forest

Cold Creek Campground

Jackson Meadows Area
Attractions and Activities

Jackson Meadows Reservoir north of Truckee and west of Highway 89 is a favorite camping and boating destination. Visitors to the area enjoy a variety of great outdoor recreation opportunities. Those who camp at Cold Creek Campground are within easy driving distance of Jackson Meadows Reservoir.

  • Grab your binoculars for a day of Birding in Sierra County. Spot ducks, geese, and teal at Jackson Meadows Reservoir. Bald eagles are appearing more and more frequently. Visit Kyburz Marsh for everything from eagles to osprey.
  • Enjoy great boating and fishing on Jackson Meadows Reservoir.
  • Set out on horseback or on foot along the famous Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Spend a day at Independence Lake for hiking, bird watching and kayaking or motor boating with rentals from The Nature Conservancy (no outside boats).
  • Learn more about the history of Henness Pass crossed by emigrants during the Gold Rush - Oregon-California Trails Association - Henness Pass.

Key Cold Creek Campground Regulations

  1. Purchase firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.
  2. Dogs must be on leash in the campground and attended at all times.
  3. Bears: Food and similar items should be stored in bear-proof lockers when available.
  4. Water may still be in short supply after California's drought.

Cold Creek Campground

Cold Creek Campground, beside Highway 89 in the Tahoe National Forest, is one of those little roadside camps that would be easy to overlook. This charming spot along musical Cold Creek is a nice place to spend a night. The nearby highway is lightly traveled and so road noise is not a big deterrent to the campground. Choose a campsite next to the meadow on the creek side of the access road.

Jeffrey pines and white fir spread shade over the 6 campsites at Cold Creek Campground. Growing along the creek are cottonwoods, willows, and aspens. Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail both begin at Cottonwood Creek Campground ½ mile to the north. Jackson Meadows Reservoir is 19 miles away.

Four of the campsites at Cold Creek Campground are subject to non-specific reservations. The specific site will be assigned upon arrival. Three of those sites are adjacent to the highway and not as desirable as the sites left open for first-come, first served. According to the Forest Service, usage at the campground is light.

Cold Creek Campground Basics
Cold Creek Campground Location: Along Highway 89, 4½ miles south of Sierraville, 25 miles north of Truckee
Elevation: 5,680 feet
Mileage and driving time from gateway city: Truckee - 25 miles, 29 minutes
Sacramento - 120 miles, 2:05
Number of Sites: 6
Open - Closed: May through October
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: on leash, always attended
Sierraville Ranger District: (530) 994-3401

Reservations at Cold Creek Campground
Reservations accepted Reservations can be made for 4 sites, but not for a specific site.
Remaining 2 sites are first-come, first served
Reservation Window: Reservations can be made from 4 days to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 22 feet
Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $16 per night
Reservations: Cold Creek Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out Noon

Cold Creek Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, food locker, grill, fire ring; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Attractions near Cold Creek Campground: Take a pleasant hike along Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail. Visit Sierra Hot Springs in Sierraville. Drive to Jackson Meadows Reservoir for boating, waterskiing, fishing, and swimming. Visit Kyburz Marsh for birding. Saddle up and try local horseback riding trails. Go mountain biking or check out nearby OHV routes such as Bear Valley OHV Loop Trail

Cold Creek at Cold Creek Campground, Tahoe National Forest

Cold Creek

General Camping Information

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, purchase firewood locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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